East Greenwich will be able to vaccinate an additional 90 people the week of Feb. 15, according to Town Manager Andy Nota, and will have 90 more doses per week for the three weeks after that. In total, according to the R.I. Dept. of Health (DOH), East Greenwich can count on 430 doses of vaccine over the next five weeks.
The first batch of vaccine for the general public – 70 EG doses announced last week that are already spoken for – will be distributed this week and next (there was a slight delay because of the snow storm). For the next 90 doses, the town will be notifying those who have signed up for the town’s vaccine registry – register HERE or call either of these numbers: 401-886-8626, ext. 1, or 401-886-8669, if you are 65 or older and live in the Town of East Greenwich. The town will contact residents according to age – oldest will be contacted for appointments first.
But it’s important to understand: at this rate it will take several weeks to vaccinate everyone in town over age 75. Nota expressed frustration, since according to DOH, all those 75 and older are supposed to be vaccinated by mid-March. The town does not have exact numbers of residents over age 75 but it’s certainly at least 1,000 residents.
“It set off an extraordinarily high expectation,” he said of DOH’s announcement last week. The math of vaccine availability versus actual recipients does not work, he said. Vaccine doses are coming but slowly, Nota said. “It will be weeks. Everyone will have to be patient,” he said.
DOH spokesman Joseph Wendelken responded to a query about the number of announced doses versus DOH’s overall goals.
“We are hopeful that we will get some increases in our federal vaccine allocation, and anticipate being able to repurpose some vaccine in the near future from the congregate setting vaccination effort,” he said. “And finally, the retail pharmacies will start vaccinating soon.”
To that end, CVS announced Tuesday it will be offering vaccinations in Rhode Island (based on DOH standards), including at a store in East Greenwich but as of Wednesday evening details were not available beyond that the stores are supposed to begin distributing next week. Find a link about vaccine signup on the national CVS website HERE – it’s not open yet for Rhode Island but keep checking back. And find their press release HERE.
If you live in a nearby town, we break down what we know HERE. But please know that all of this can change so keep checking in with your town’s COVID or vaccine info page.
Find a graphic about vaccination released by DOH in late January below.